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Plastic- Soapbox

November 18, 2009

I’m going to hop up on my soapbox for a moment and tell you that I hate plastic. As much good as it can do, I also think it does a whole lot of damage to our bodies and the world.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer around this time last year. She was 49 at the time. She had a lumpectomy on Christmas Eve and a few weeks later started chemo. After 22 weeks of Chemo she started 7 weeks of radiation and is now just waiting. Cancer, eh. I don’t even know where to start. Prostate, colon, skin, lung, breast, cervical, brain, the list goes on an on. I feel like at some point we’re all going to get cancer in some form. Why? Is is what we’re eating and breathing? Is it all the chemicals that are put into our food and water? I’ve already sworn off tanning beds and will be wearing SPF 70 for the rest of my life. My newest endeavor- escape from plastic mountain. Let me rephrase, I’m trying to avoid plastic. I don’t heat anything in plastic and I don’t put hot food/drinks on or in anything plastic. I know some plastic is apparently “safe” to heat, but I’m skeptical.

I came across this website today in my search for evidence that plastic is bad (I know I should play devils advocate too and search for “plastic is okay” sites) I found a ton of blogs written by people who are trying to go plastic free, and they are inspiring. I’d like to introduce you to four lovely bloggers who are part of a plastic-free brigade.

Life Less Plastic

Plastic Free

Plastic is Rubbish

Fake Plastic Fish

All of these people have the same goal- reduce waste. While I agree with this message entirely, I’d love it if there were more studies available on the effects of heating in plastic. It frightens me that we all thought BPA was okay when we were chugging down nalgene after nalgene of water, but now the FDA might ban it because of the high levels of estrogen emitted when used for food/drink? Really? I know the FDA can’t see into the future, and it isn’t their fault, but I’d rather just avoid eating/heating in plastic at all costs.

I was trying to find the FDA levels of safe plastic absorption, but couldn’t find anything. I’d love to see it if anyone knows where it is. I’ve read the articles listed below:

Harvard Medical School – Microwaving food in plastic: Dangerous or not?

USA Today – Heat causes chemical to leach from plastic

NIEHS – Researching Health Effects of BPA

Next up, my biggest problem with plastic- Plastic Bags. I know this has nothing to do with my health, but I can’t help myself since I’m talking about plastic.

If I were to go back and change anything about my college career, I would have have gone into Environmental Science. I would have done a study on plastic bags throughout the world. What started this? My trip to Tanzania during the summer of 2005. First picture is of the market at the base of Kilimanjaro. See all the bags? Next picture – check out all the blue and yellow plastic bags scattered along the beach.  Sad.

Market, Base of Kilimanjaro, June 2005

Market, Base of Kilimanjaro, June 2005

Beach, Northern Zanzibar, June 2005

2 Comments leave one →
  1. polythenepam permalink
    November 25, 2009 6:06 am


  2. polythenepam permalink
    November 25, 2009 6:07 am

    and thanks for the shout out – there are lots of other plastic related bloggers listed in my web links

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